TV Recap

Black Sails Season 2 Episode 4 Review – XII

Flint threatens Vane.  Eleanor chooses a side.  Rackham learns what Max is capable of.  Silver reunites with an old friend.

(Summary provided by


“People can say what they want about you, but you’re a good man.  More people should say that, and someone should be willing to defend it.”



Thomas!  He is, I believe, the best example of a “good person” we’ve had on this show.  He is so driven by his beliefs in the inherent goodness of humanity that he refuses to take an easier path to success despite knowing his ideals could potentially cause himself and his loved ones great harm.  For the previous three episodes, he was mostly an affable man, inspiring but kind of soft.  When he confronts his father, however, he is STEEL.

Reader, I love him.


Everything about Max’s description about the difference between fucking and seduction is comedy gold, from her earnest delivery to Idelle’s confused assurance to Jack’s certainty in the world crumbling around him.


In this episode, we get two people caught in the middle of a messy situation.  Eleanor must decide whether to side with her partner (Flint) or the safest/smartest option (Vane), and in flashback, James must decide whether to side with his partner (Thomas) or the safest/smartest option (Lord Hamilton).

Eleanor does her best to reconcile the two warring pirate captains, to no avail.  It is really wrenching to see her real fear at the possibility of a destabilized fort opening Nassau to another Spanish attack.  She knows that Flint knows it is a dangerous move, but she can’t convince him to change, so she sides with Vane.

James spends the entire episode counseling Thomas to abandon his plan to pardon the pirates, both for communal and personal reasons.  He’s genuinely frightened of what may happen to Thomas if he were branded a coward for suggesting forgiveness for traitors.  But when it comes down to it, and he SEES someone attacking Thomas in just the way he feared, James stands (literally, oh my heart) and sides with his partner despite knowing it is not the safe or smart option.

It is parallel storylines like these that make me really adore Black Sails.  We get to see two people making opposite decisions, but we feel for both of them.  There is clearly no easy answer for either of them, and though we might wish they chose differently, we cannot blame them for their decision.


  • Abigail!  Vane is shit for leaving her only maggoty bread, but she is awesome for eating it after only a moment’s hesitation.  Vane continues to show that he does not know the meaning of “good host” when he says, “My name is Charles Vane, and you are now my guest.  As such, no harm will come to you so long as you do exactly as I say.”  Um, OKAY, Charles.  Although it is rather lovely when they bond the tiniest bit over their shared satisfaction that Ned Lowe’s head is on a pike.
  • Anne, Jack, and Max wake in a pile, but Anne is snuggled up close to Jack.  She makes her alliance to Jack very clear throughout the episode, and I love her self-awareness that she needs him with her in the bedroom because her mind isn’t clear there. She’s exploring a new part of her sexuality, and it scares her. She wants her partner there with her, and god bless Jack for supporting her.

Anne:  I’ve put a lot of bodies in the ground for you, haven’t I?
Jack:  Excuse me?
Anne:  Watched your back.  Cleaned up your messes.  Carried out your plans.  I didn’t always understand, didn’t always agree, but I did it.  Some fucked-up, awful shit ’cause I knew you needed it done.  I don’t think the night you had last night comes even close to something to bitch about.
Jack:  I know you know this is significantly more complicated than the quantity of tits I have access to at any given moment.
Anne:  I know she’s dangerous, especially to me.  I ain’t in my right head about her.  She knows it.  And it ain’t hard to imagine her intent is to play us off one against the other.  But I’m asking you to do this for me. I’m asking you to watch my back on the other side of that door.  ‘Cause I know as long as you are, there ain’t shit she can do to get between us.

  • Is this the first time we see Eleanor on a ship?  I love Flint’s ingrained manners when he stands as she enters, and even more I love that he insists on talking alone with her.  I am in love with watching a young woman and an older man going head to head with equal respect and frustration.
  • This scene between Flint and Silver is FORMATIVE.  It’s the first time Flint is the tiniest bit vulnerable with Silver, and it’s therefore the first time Silver sees beneath Flint’s aggressively brilliant exterior.

Silver:  It’s possible this has nothing to do with the fort, nor with Vane.  Perhaps it’s just them expressing their opinion about you.
Flint:  So you think that they see me as the villain in this particular story?
Silver:  I think that would explain their decision, yes.
Flint:  And you?  What do you think?  You see me as the villain here?
Silver:  I see you as the agent most likely of securing my share of the gold on that beach.  As long as that remains true, I am not bothered in the least by whatever labels anyone decides to affix to you.  Why?  What do you think about it?
Flint:  I’m sorry?
Silver:  It bothers you, doesn’t it?  What they think.  With the things you’ve done–My God, it must be awful being you.

  • This scene is even more heartbreaking after Flint’s explosive defense of Thomas:  “People can say what they want about you, but you’re a good man.  More people should say that, and someone should be willing to defend it.”  Silver has been Flint’s defender, so it makes sense that Flint wants Silver to also see the good motives beneath his actions.  But that is not what drives Silver to support Flint – it’s his honest using of Flint to get the Urca gold.  It is so painful to watch Flint realize Silver is not that person for him.
  • It’s hard for me to completely understand just how dangerous Thomas’s idea was for its time and place.  I need to learn more about British empire culture/politics.
  • Billy is back in our story, and looking real rough!  It’s all kinds of heartbreaking that his first words are “Get Gates.”
  • Miranda blowing up at Eleanor is very illuminating.  Miranda has definitely lost her passion for Nassau, because all she sees is the place that cost her everything, and keeps costing her (in encouraging Flint’s violence and leading him further from the man she knew).  Which is why it’s so great to see her mind formulating plans when she learns from Pastor Lambrick that Abigail Ashe is in town.  Perhaps there’s a way for her to put an end to all of this AND honor Thomas and Flint’s plans.
  • Max is so fascinating.  She’s definitely out of sorts now that Anne has brought Jack into their bed.  I still don’t think Max loves Anne, and this is more fear of losing her power and influence.  She tries to intimidate Jack (who is entirely confident in his relationship with Anne – awww), and when that doesn’t work, she bribes him with Featherstone and a crew.  She’s a very smart woman, and I respect her, but I don’t really LIKE her for it just yet.
  • And then that pivotal flashback scene!!  It is perfection.  Thomas’s father is immediately dislikable, Thomas is glowing with passion and certainty, Miranda and James are trying to stay out of it UNTIL.

James:  I support it.  I found his argument persuasive.  I find his intent to be good and true, and I find yours wanting, sir.  I will be relaying my findings to Admiral Hennessey in short order.  And now I think it’s time you left, sir.
Thomas:  Did you just ask my father to leave his own house?  Right now he will be dispatching messages to the Sea Lords, the Southern Secretary, his friends in the Privy Council.  He will stop at nothing to ensure that this plan never sees the light of day, and now you’re in the line of fire.
James:  People can say what they like about you, but you’re a good man.  More people should say that.  And someone should be willing to defend it.

  • Mr. Scott tries to convince Flint not to attack the fort.  Flint gives Mr. Scott the due he deserves by acknowledging the Mr. Scott’s invaluable role behind the Guthries.  Mr. Scott gives excellent advice, but to no avail.
  • Once again, Flint makes a decision that I disapprove of, but he’s so conflicted about it that all of my emotions are only for him.
Worst dinner party ever.

Not done reliving the episode?  Listen to Daphne and Liz’s podcast at Fathoms Deep!

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